The most easterly Barn Quilt on North Carolina’s Quilt Trail is on the Pack House barn at Big Mill B&B in Williamston, NC. I just love it!
Barn Quilt in eastern NC at Big Mill B&B in Williamston
I used to go to Quilting Bees with my mother when I was a child. I would play under the quilt all by myself. There were no other children.
The ladies made such beautiful works of art. Mother would sew the pieces of fabric together and let me help. When it was all pieced together, we put it in the frame along with the backing and the batting. Then Mother’s friends would come for several days until the quilt was quilted. My father used to make cotton and wool batts for his mother to quilt. I wish I had gotten him to show me how.
In 1976, everyone had caught Bicentennial Fever and felt patriotic so Mother (also named Chloe) made a quilt of red, white and blue. Click to read more about Barn Quilts and Miss Chloe’s LaMoyne Star …
Figs are so special – they are a real delicacy.
- • 2 ¼ pounds ripe figs* (4 cups prepared figs)
- • 5 1/2 cups sugar
- • 2 lemons
- • Zest from one the lemons
- • 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- • ½ teaspoon butter
- • ½ pouch liquid pectin (1 ½ ounces) use Certo NOT Ball)
- • 6-7 half pint jars, sterilized
- • 6-7 jar lids and rings (bands)
- Sterilize the jars - you can do this in a dishwasher. Place jar lids in a metal bowl or pot and pour boiling water over them. Set aside.
- Start heating the water in the canner.
- Wash and drain the figs, handling very carefully. Remove the stem end from each fig and cut them in half. Mash the figs- I use a potato masher. You will need 4 cups of mashed figs.
- Measure 6 cups of sugar into a large mixing bowl. Wash the lemons and grate the peel from two of the lemons. You need about 2 Tablespoons of zest.
- Squeeze the lemons to get a ¼ cup juice. Remove any lemon seeds.
- Check the expiration date on the pectin, making sure that it is not out of date.
- Place figs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter in a large stainless steel cooking pot. Stir to combine the ingredients.
- Bring this mixture to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, stirring often.
- Add the liquid pectin and return to a boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring often. I count, "one-one thousand, two-one thousand" until I reach sixty. Then remove from heat.
- Ladle the jam into sterilized jars, wipe the tops to remove any jam. Place sterilized lids on the jars. Screw on the jar bands and hand tighten.
- Process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes. Remove from the canner and place in a draft-free space. Do not move for 24 hours. Some of the jars will have sealed but others will continue to pop. I love that sound! If you see that a jar is not sealed, store this one in the refrigerator and eat it first.
- After you eat the preserves, be sure to save the jars and rings, they can be reused. The flat lids can only be used once to seal a jar.
- Yield: 6-7 half-pint jars plus some for tasting.
- * You will have to buy the figs at a farmer's market, grow them or if you are lucky a friend will share. I have never seen figs that were affordable in the grocery store. The last ones I saw in a Florida grocery store were $5 for just a few figs. Plant a tree!
Click to get the Recipe for my Fig Jam with Less Sugar and some great photos too …
Refreshing Summer Punch is Perfect for Those Lazy Summer Days
This Citrus punch is perfect for your summer parties
Ah, the Halcyon days of summer are coming to an end at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast and that saddens me. When the green leaves turn to gold and then fall away, you can hear the whine of the train and the lonesome whippoorwill. There are fewer whippoorwills; that too is sad. And you just know that is a country song.
So on these last balmy nights of summer, grab a cool glass of Summer Punch, loll in the hammock and listen to the sounds of the changing season. You can hear the quiet except for the cicadas. Click to get Chloe’s Summer Punch Recipe
Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC is an institution
Bill’s Hot Dogs in Little Washington, NC
It doesn’t matter if you like hot dogs or not — you just have to eat a Bill’s hot dog if you are in Washington, North Carolina. Bill’s has been open as a hot dog “stand” since 1928 and it hasn’t changed much; not that I can see.
Located on Gladden Street in “Little” Washington, NC, it is just a short distance from the Pamlico River. Bill’s is an institution for most everyone who has ever lived in Washington or eastern North Carolina. For the locals, this is Road Food at its best. Click to read More about Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC
Big Mill B&B is going to be part of the Tar River Quilt Trail
Kim Young & Chloe Tuttle examine Quilt Block for Big Mill’s Barn Quilt
How did the Big Mill B&B barn quilt idea and project happen? In essence, I read about the American Quilt Trail and I wanted to be part of it. I picked a favorite quilt pattern – one that my mother made. And I joined the Tar River Quilt Trail, it is now the Tar-Roanoke River Quilt Trail. This pattern is being painted on plywood and will be installed on the side of my Pack House Barn here on the farm. Click to read more about Barn Quilts in North Carolina …
Blueberries are a gift – they speak “Summer”
Just Picked Blueberries from the farm at Big Mill B&B
If you can pick your own blueberries that is the best. I have blueberries growing right outside my kitchen window and I try to use them any way I can. Local farmers’ markets also have good berries.
I love cooking with fresh blueberries and this is the very BEST jam recipe I have ever made – and it is EASY. If you don’t like the cinnamon and lime, then I have another Blueberry Jam recipe for you. And remember – Don’t Double the Recipe! Click to get Chloe’s Blueberry Cinnamon Jam Recipe
Built in 1823, the Ocracoke Lighthouse is North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse still in use.
Ocracoke Lighthouse on Ocracoke Island
In fact, Ocracoke Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse still in use in the entire United States, although this is controversial. It has been in constant use since 1823, except for a brief period during the Civil War when the Rebels dismantled the light. It continues to emit its constant fixed beam, visible for 14 miles – a welcome beacon for sailors. Click to Read More about the Ocracoke Lighthouse
This easy Strawberry Bread recipe uses self-rising flour
Fresh strawberries make the best bread
I just love this photo – I was outside getting ready to take a picture of these berries when a rainstorm made me take cover in my Old Red Truck. While I waited out the storm, I took this photo — the lighting was perfect. It is one of my favorites. To get Chloe’s Strawberry Bread Recipe click here
Somerset Place Plantation in Creswell, NC, is off the beaten path.
Somerset is isolated. That is one of the reasons it is so haunting.
In 1860, Somerset Place Plantation near Creswell, NC had 328 slaves, making it the third largest plantation in North Carolina. At one time it encompassed 100,000 acres of land and swamp sitting on the shores of Lake Phelps right in the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina, which meant drainage ditches, canals, mosquitoes and basically not an easy life. To read more about Somersest click here
Molasses is a staple in the south – we use molasses for everything.
Molasses Pudding with Bourbon Sauce is a southern tradition
It seemed like everybody’s grandmother made Molasses Pudding and it was always a treat. In some parts of the country, it might be called Molasses Cake, but southerners call it Molasses Pudding. Once you add the Bourbon Sauce, it does seem more like a pudding.
Friend Nancy and I set out to recreate this old-fashioned southern recipe and we did it! We added the Bourbon Pecan Sauce to spice it up. Southerners love molasses and use it everywhere. Read more about Molasses and Chloe’s Molasses Pudding Cake